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Article

Breeding Systems in Diploid and Polyploid Hawthorns (Crataegus): Evidence from Experimental Pollinations of C. monogyna, C. subsphaerica, and Natural Hybrids

Institute of Biology and Ecology, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik University, Mánesova 23, SK-041 54 Košice, Slovakia
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Forests 2019, 10(12), 1059; https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121059
Received: 27 September 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 19 November 2019 / Published: 21 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Study of Tree Pollen and Pollination)
Background and Objectives: Polyploidisation and frequent hybridisation play an important role in speciation processes and evolutionary history and have a large impact on reproductive systems in the genus Crataegus. Reproductive modes in selected diploid and polyploid taxa in eastern Slovakia were investigated and analysed for the first time. Materials and Methods: Diploid, triploid, and tetraploid hawthorns were tested for self-pollination, self-compatibility, and self-fertilisation. Pollination experiments were performed within and between diploid and triploid species to determine the possibilities and directions of pollen transfer under natural conditions. Seeds from crossing experiments and open pollinations were analysed using the flow cytometric seed screen method. Results: These experiments demonstrated that sexual reproduction, cross-pollination, and self-incompatibility are typical of the diploid species Crataegus monogyna and C. kyrtostyla. Seeds produced by self-fertile tetraploid C. subsphaerica were derived from both meiotically reduced and unreduced megagametophytes. Conclusions: Experimental results concerning triploid C. subsphaerica and C. laevigata × C. subsphaerica are ambiguous but suggest that seeds are almost exclusively created through apomixis, although a few sexually generated seeds were observed. In the genus Crataegus, pseudogamy is a common feature of polyploid taxa, as in all cases pollination is essential for regular seed development. Research Highlights: We suggest that all studied Crataegus taxa produce reduced pollen irrespective of ploidy level. Moreover, we emphasise that triploids produce apparently aneuploid pollen grains as a result of irregular meiosis. They are also capable of utilising pollen from 2x, 3x, or 4x donors for pseudogamous formation of endosperm. View Full-Text
Keywords: breeding systems; Crataegus; flow cytometry; gene flow; pollination; polyploidy; pseudogamy; self-fertilisation breeding systems; Crataegus; flow cytometry; gene flow; pollination; polyploidy; pseudogamy; self-fertilisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vašková, D.; Kolarčik, V. Breeding Systems in Diploid and Polyploid Hawthorns (Crataegus): Evidence from Experimental Pollinations of C. monogyna, C. subsphaerica, and Natural Hybrids. Forests 2019, 10, 1059. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121059

AMA Style

Vašková D, Kolarčik V. Breeding Systems in Diploid and Polyploid Hawthorns (Crataegus): Evidence from Experimental Pollinations of C. monogyna, C. subsphaerica, and Natural Hybrids. Forests. 2019; 10(12):1059. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121059

Chicago/Turabian Style

Vašková, Dominika, and Vladislav Kolarčik. 2019. "Breeding Systems in Diploid and Polyploid Hawthorns (Crataegus): Evidence from Experimental Pollinations of C. monogyna, C. subsphaerica, and Natural Hybrids" Forests 10, no. 12: 1059. https://doi.org/10.3390/f10121059

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